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There and back again

January 6, 2014

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Friends! Happy New Year! We had such a memorable holiday around here. First, the stomach flu. It was the gift that kept on giving. We even handed it off to Dallin and Janelle’s family, who visited for Christmas. It was like the plague–we all knew it was going to hit us, we just didn’t know when.

It hit me the night before the BIG Christmas program at church, the one I was supposed to direct, the one in which Jackson was to join the tenors and Preston was supposed to sing Silent Night as the gentle , pure, closing number. Well. No one could get out of bed in the morning. Not a single person.

So I pulled on my red Christmas dress and crawled to the church by myself. Seth showed up just in time to help the bass section and we both willed ourselves through the (glorious! Beautiful!) Christmas program. There were angels in the rafters. Violin, piano, gorgeous insights from the speakers, all culminating in the Wexford Carol, which came together through prayer and miracle. That one hour, it made my Christmas. Then Seth and I crawled home and went to bed, for the entire day.

That’s how Christmas rolled. Fancy dinner plans gave way to seltzer water and eggs. But it was still wonderful, full of music and movies, a magical night followed by a magical morning.

In a real-life reenactment of Home Alone, we raced to the airport for a Christmas evening flight to Texas, where we spent the post-holiday celebrations with my family. Cousins played air hockey, we all gained back the five pounds we lost with the stomach flu, Mom and Dad shared memories, Ryan blessed his baby Simon, and we swam and played water volleyball until our hands were wrinkled as raisins. So much laughter. So much admiring of my handsome little nephews.

The fellowship broke up after a few days, but we lingered until the new year. We saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and loved it. (So much so, we’re hatching plans for a trip to Iceland!) We rang in the new year with a final dip in the pool, then Seth and Addison headed back to Minnesota via car and the rest of us flew. We were both rescued along the way, Seth and Addison by the State Trooper who gave them a ride when the alternator died, and us from the airport by my amazing friend Diann, who shuttled us home and stocked our fridge with milk and eggs for morning.

We are all home now. Christmas has been boxed up. (My favorite part of the New Year!) We are scheming up goals and lofty travel plans, tidying corners and settling in. Kids are off school today because of the cold. (-33 with wind chill.) We are eating egg rolls and playing Guillotine (thanks Dallin and Janelle!) and trying very hard not to slip on skis and slide across the lake.

We are, all of us, finding our rhythm for the new year. It’s going to be a good one.

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